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Bills advance to benefit local waterways

State Rep. Nancy Argenziano has scored two victories in her effort to clean local waterways.

The House Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection earlier this week unanimously passed a bill that would establish a council to oversee waterway restoration in Citrus and Hernando counties.

The bill, HB 161, also would provide money for the restoration effort.

Argenziano said the bill would especially help the Tsala Apopka lake chain.

Why? Because the legislation would require the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to work on muck removal.

The second victory concerns HB 729, which would allow waterfront property owners statewide to clean muck from waterways that are adjacent to their property without an environmental resource permit and without the government charging them for the removed material.

Those regulations have long frustrated Argenziano and some of her constituents.

The measure passed through the House committee on a unanimous vote.

Companion bills have been filed in the state Senate, but committees have not yet considered them.

Argenziano, R-Crystal River, represents House District 43, which includes all of Citrus, northwest Hernando County and a sliver of Marion County.

To follow the progress of these bills _ or any legislation under consideration during the lawmaking session _ go to the Internet and check the site.